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Perry County, Illinois
Map of Illinois highlighting Perry County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location in the U.S.
Founded 1827
Seat Pinckneyville
Largest city Du Quoin
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

447 sq mi (1,157 km²)
441 sq mi (1,142 km²)
6 sq mi (15 km²), 1.31%
 - (2000)
 - Density

52/sq mi (20/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Perry County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of 2000, the population was 23,094. Its county seat is Pinckneyville6.


Perry County is located in Southwestern Illinois. Pinckneyville, at the center of the county, is approximately 70 miles southeast of St. Louis, Missouri and 300 miles southwest of Chicago. The Mississippi River lies about 30 miles west of the County.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,157 km² (447 sq mi). 1,142 km² (441 sq mi) of it is land and 15 km² (6 sq mi) of it (1.31%) is water.

The County's topography is mainly flat with some rolling hills. The part of the County's eastern border, the part shared with Franklin County, is formed by the Little Muddy River. Beaucoup Creek runs north to south through the County and lies just east of Pinckneyville.

The county's topography also features many "strip cut" lakes, lakes left behind following above-ground coal mining. Lakes at two of the county's chief recreation areas, the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds and Pyramid State Recreation Area, were formed this way.

Adjacent Counties[]


Perry County was formed in 1827 out of Jackson and Randolph Counties. It was named in honor of Oliver Hazard Perry who defeated the British fleet at the decisive Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812.

In its early history, Perry County was mainly an inland pioneer outpost. Early settlers, including some Revolutionary War veterans bearing land grants, moved here from the Eastern United States. These were primarily Protestant settlers. Growth boomed in the 1850s for two reasons: construction of the Illinois Central Railroad through the eastern portion of the county, and the discovery of large coal reserves. Immigrants from Ireland, Poland, Germany, Italy and elsewhere steadily increased the County's population from 1850 through the 1920s. African Americans also were established in the County during northward migration following the Civil War.

Mining continued to be the dominant employment sector through the 1990s, when Clean Air Act regulations devastated the Illinois coal economy.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1900 19,830
1910 22,088 11.4%
1920 22,901 3.7%
1930 22,767 −0.6%
1940 23,438 2.9%
1950 21,684 −7.5%
1960 19,184 −11.5%
1970 19,757 3.0%
1980 21,714 9.9%
1990 21,412 −1.4%
2000 23,094 7.9%
IL Counties 1900-1990

As of the census² of 2000, there were 23,094 people, 8,504 households, and 5,842 families residing in the county. The population density was 20/km² (52/sq mi). There were 9,457 housing units at an average density of 8/km² (21/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 89.55% White, 8.02% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.09% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. 1.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,504 households out of which 30.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.30% were married couples living together, 9.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.30% were non-families. 27.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.00% under the age of 18, 10.30% from 18 to 24, 29.20% from 25 to 44, 22.50% from 45 to 64, and 16.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 113.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 114.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,281, and the median income for a family was $41,064. Males had a median income of $29,169 versus $20,170 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,935. About 10.10% of families and 13.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.50% of those under age 18 and 10.10% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns[]

Census designated places[]

External links[]

Coordinates: 38°05′N 89°22′W / 38.09, -89.37

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Perry County, Illinois. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.